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Published: Thursday, 10/9/2008

Murder-suicide at heart of Kentucky fire


INDEPENDENCE, Ky. A man found dead this week after a gasoline-fueled blaze at his Kentucky house shot and killed his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself, police said Thursday.

Police and firefighters also came under fire when they arrived Tuesday night at the burning home where they found the three bodies inside and a toddler wandering outside, unharmed.

In a release Thursday, police said autopsies and other evidence show 43-year-old Seaward Padilla shot 45-year-old Lori Padilla and 22-year-old Jessica Padilla on Tuesday night. All three died from gunshot wounds; Jessica s 2-year-old daughter, Jaycee, was unharmed.

Police also said that gasoline was used to ignite the fire and that rounds fired from the house hit a fire truck and a house across the street. No responders were injured.

Police declined to comment further Thursday after issuing the short press release.

A man dialed 911 from the Padilla residence to report a fire in the basement before hanging up, authorities have said.

Court records show the couple had accused each other of violence and taken out protective orders against each other late last year.

Lori Padilla s, filed on Nov. 28, accused her husband of pushing her. He locked me out of the house, destroyed personal property, and I am in fear of my safety, Lori Padilla wrote in the order.

A little over a week later, Seaward Padilla claimed Lori Padilla hit him in the mouth and pushed him to the ground. I am homeless, she has all the money, he wrote in a Dec. 4 protective order. I m scared she will hit me again.

A friend of the Padilla family, Greg Waite, said Thursday the family had no comment.

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